Posts tagged "1112014"

J.W. v. Department of Developmental Services, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-120-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   12-P-1760                                       Appeals Court   J.W.[1]  vs.  DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES & another.[2],[3] No. 12-P-1760. Middlesex.     June 2, 2014.  –  September 24, 2014.   Present:  Green, Trainor, & Grainger, JJ. Division of Administrative Law Appeals.  Department of Developmental Services.  Intellectually Disabled Person. Administrative Law, Judicial review.  Statute, Construction.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 15, 2011.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Timothy J. Casey, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants. Stephen M. Sheehy for the plaintiff.   TRAINOR, J.  The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) appeals from a Superior Court judgment that vacated the decision of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) approving the transfer of J.W. under the provisions of G. L. c. 123B, § 3.[4] J.W. is a profoundly mentally disabled, visually impaired, and nonverbal individual.  He has little or no concept of personal safety, and therefore, while he can walk independently, he cannot negotiate stairs alone.  He has been a resident at the Fernald Developmental Center (FDC or Fernald) for nearly his entire life.  The FDC is in the process of closing, however, and the policy decision to transfer its residents, all intellectually disabled individuals, to other appropriate care facilities is no longer subject to review by the Federal courts and would require a change in State law to prevent.[5] In a comprehensive and balanced decision, an administrative magistrate of the DALA approved the plan proposed by the DDS to transfer J.W. from his residence at Malone Park 23 at the FDC to Heffron Hall A, apartment 4 at the Wrentham Developmental Center (WDC).  See G. L. c. 123B, § 3. A judge of the Superior Court, on review, concluded that “[i]f one accepts the Magistrate’s legal rulings — essentially limiting inquiry to a choice between Fernald and Heffron Hall — then there is no lack of substantial evidence for the Decision.  Nor (on the same assumption) does the Court find any error in ‘the logic of the analysis that the hearing officer articulated in [his] decision.’  Covell v. Department of Developmental Servs., 439 Mass. 766, 782 (2003).”  Despite that, the judge concluded that the magistrate erred in his legal ruling by limiting his consideration of J.W.’s best interest to either the existing placement at Fernald or the single alternative proposed by […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm

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